Former editor of the much-loved Paperboy magazine, AKL New Zealand.

Find him on Twitter and Instagram.

Who or what did you want to be when you grew up?

I spent my 1970s childhood in rural Hawke’s Bay without a television, so I read DC comics much of the time and wanted to be Wonder Woman, Batman, or some combo of the two.

What is your professional background?

I tried and failed to get into medical school at Otago University so proceeded to do a BA (Hons) in English literature. I then did a year-long journalism programme at AIT in Auckland, and scored a dream job as a feature writer at Metro magazine. Since then I’ve worked for five years in Hong Kong (where I wrote for a bunch of different magazines), done a two-year producing stint at RNZ National’s Morning Report (which I loved, but the hours were the definition of anti-social), been a TV arts reporter for the much-missed Frontseat, and got to pursue my interest in architecture and design with an 11-year stint editing HOME magazine. I recently shifted desks to edit Paperboy (a free Auckland weekly), which launched in November 2016.

When do you feel the most creative or inspired?

It’s not something I can schedule, but I have found the creative urge gets eroded pretty quickly if I’m not locking in enough downtime.

When are you happiest?

I like it when meetings get cancelled at the last minute and little windows of free time suddenly open up. I also like it when a fresh copy of New York Magazine arrives in my letterbox. And when I see a smart, well-designed bit of public space opening in Auckland, whether that be a new cycleway or the central city’s Freyberg Place. Auckland’s gradually becoming more about people than cars, and is all the better for it.

What’s the best stress relief advice you’ve ever been given?

Resign. I’ve only actually left a stressful job for that reason once, and it was strangely liberating. I wasn’t unemployed forever, which is what I’d initially feared. And I feel like I’m better at jobs if I’m choosing to be there, rather than feeling like I’ve been taken prisoner. Just knowing you could quit if you decide to is an effective stress reliever.

What is your most treasured possession?

This is too hard to answer. It might be because I try and pretend I’m all Buddhist and not attached to things, but it may also be that I’m a borderline sociopath who doesn’t believe in sentimental value.

What is the most important thing life has taught you thus far?

That I’m definitely going to screw things up on a regular basis. It’s strangely liberating to remind myself of that. And I think it makes it easier to own these screw-ups when they inevitably happen.

What is your number one business tip for surviving (and thriving) in your industry?

I work in the media – it’s a miracle I’m still employed! But I don’t think this is because of a particular skill, just luck. I guess it’s important not to get locked into thinking that things have to be a particular way for all eternity, but other than that I don’t think I have any secrets to share. Maybe don’t try and hog credit things that go well for yourself. That’s just tacky, and never entirely true.  

What is your big project or goal for 2018?

I love making Paperboy each week and am really proud of what our team creates, so I’d just like to get the magazine into more people’s hands, and in the process (hopefully) help Auckland become the happening, inclusive, egalitarian city it needs to be. 100,000 copies a week is a good start, but my megalomaniacal side wants more, more!

Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?

I really like reading Rebecca Traister’s writing in New York Magazine. And I like Twitter a lot – despite all the hot-headed, abusive convos that go on, it still feels like a privilege to be able to eavesdrop on thousands of idiosyncratic little chats on topics large and small every day. I probably LOL at least daily to something somebody tweets. I also admire the members of urban advocacy groups like Generation Zero, Bike Auckland, and Greater Auckland – they’ve all been brave and wonderfully effective in championing a progressive vision of a better city.

What do you continually ask yourself?

Why didn’t I go to bed earlier?

Who do you collaborate with best?

There are so many people I collaborate with each week to create the magazine, and all of them have very specific strengths. I couldn’t choose just one.

Who has challenged you to be better than you once were?

My husband Cameron always makes it clear there’s no need for me to be better, but his general loveliness seems to make me want to keep standards high.

How does courage manifest in your work?

I hope Paperboy sometimes seems brave. We try not to think about that too much, but instead to retain a loose approach that means caution won’t cloud our vision too much.

When has mentorship played a role in your life?

Heaps of times! In particular, Warwick Roger was editor of Metro when he hired me for my first full-time job, and having him back me was a huge boost. I seem to generally respond best not when I’m being closely managed, but when I know expectations are high and I’m left to sort things out for myself.